Divorce and Bankruptcy – What You Should Know
Financial troubles can lead many married couples to file for divorce and needing the help of a Sarasota Divorce Attorney. The stress and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can push spouses apart. Along with the stress of divorce comes the stress of considering bankruptcy as an option for managing a mountain of what seems to be an endless amount of debt. Divorce matters involve the splitting of assets and debts, therefore, when you decide to file for divorce can make bankruptcy either a much smoother process or a much more complicated process. Timing is a huge factor when it comes to resolving debt through bankruptcy and ending a marriage through divorce.
The filing fees assessed when filing for bankruptcy are the same whether you are filing on behalf of yourself, or jointly with your spouse. Thus, if you file for bankruptcy jointly prior to filing for divorce, you could split the cost with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, saving both of you money, so that you would not otherwise be responsible for the filing fee on your own, by filing for bankruptcy separately.
Further, by filing for bankruptcy jointly prior to filing for divorce, you and your spouse will be able to wipe out debts that will make the divorce process much simpler. Property divisions can also be much easier in divorce proceedings after all marital debts have been wiped out in bankruptcy. By filing for bankruptcy jointly, there will be less at issue to litigate in your divorce proceedings. However, whether or not filing for bankruptcy jointly prior to divorce will be beneficial for you is something that needs to be considered in great detail, as each person’s financial situation is different.
If you and your spouse decide to file for bankruptcy prior to divorcing, you should consider how Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy differ and how each method could either speed up or slow down both the bankruptcy and divorce processes. If you and your spouse file for Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy, the entire process will be done in about four to six months. If you and your spouse file for Chapter 13 (repayment plan) bankruptcy, the entire process could take up to five years to complete. This would inevitably impede a quick divorce, and could cause both spouses to endure years of stress that they didn’t plan for.
In such cases, if you must file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy (because you don’t qualify for Chapter 7), you may consider filing for divorce first, and then filing for bankruptcy on an individual basis. This is something that should be discussed with a bankruptcy attorney when you are first considering your debt-management options and how divorce may help you determine which route to take. A bankruptcy attorney can provide you with an evaluation of which method of debt management would be most beneficial for you and your spouse.
Contact The Law Offices of Georgette Miller and Associates, P.C. Today
The decision to file for bankruptcy might be one of the most important decisions of your life. The consequences of bankruptcy can be positive with the help of a qualified Philadelphia bankruptcy attorney. Going through a divorce around the same time as considering bankruptcy can definitely make the bankruptcy process more stressful. A bankruptcy attorney can help you plan so that you are protecting your assets and rights if you decide to file for bankruptcy. At The Law Offices of Georgette Miller and Associates, P.C., our bankruptcy attorneys provide excellent debt-management and bankruptcy advice to businesses and individuals located in and around Philadelphia, PA, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Wilmington, DE. To schedule a consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys, contact our office today by calling (866) 96-GMLAW.